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What does RHT mean? History of lingerie and vintage stockings

What does RHT mean? History of lingerie and vintage stockings

"Dear VienneMilano,

I have a quick question for you! When shopping for hosiery, I often see the letters “RHT”. What does "RHT" stand for and why is it important to hosiery?

- Karen C."

Thanks for your question Karen! We are happy to explain what RHT means and its relevance. RHT stands for reinforced heels and toes, and to understand the importance of this one must understand how hosiery was historically made. The first manufactured hosiery was produced by sewing sheets of nylon fabric together, sewing along the outside. Most modern hosiery designs use a singular piece of fabric turned inside out. This is similar to how many garments are still made. Because of the delicate nature of some hosiery materials, the heels and toes of early singular piece stocking would wear too quickly, and additional material would be sewn into the toes and heels. They would be reinforced with a slightly different type of fabric so that the stockings would stay together. As a result, all stockings at one point in time had a back seam and darkened heel and toe area.This style is still produced for its sophisticated, retro look, but the manufacturing technique is no longer necessary. On our GIULIA stocking, you’ll notice the darkened heel beneath the white bows.

GIULIA back seam stocking with bows

This is evidence of the RHT look in modern stockings. For more styles of opaque heels, check out our blog post about Cuban vs French heels.

GIULIA back seam stockings with white bows

Thanks to modern technology, hosiery is no longer made using this method. Instead, stockings are created in a circular motion with machines.

Due to modern techniques, it is unnecessary for the heel and toe area of the stockings to be reinforced with a different type of fabric. However, since the stocking is a classic fashion accessory that is adorned by women of all ages, there are hosiery connoisseurs who admire the vintage style and therefore will look for hosiery that is labeled RHT. These vintage stockings may feature a seam up the back and different material around the heel and toe. In a nutshell, today, RHT simply means that the heel and toe section of the stockings are darkened. For more vintage styles, check some of our vintage style stockings, including ALBA back seam and GIORGIA fishnet stockings.

Posted on 12/01/2017 by Zoe Eicher Home, Tutorials 0 21

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